Looking From The Mine to Sunrise Town

POWARS II ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE

Long before white men came to this country, ore was mined by the natives. It is estimated that over 250 tons of the red pigment was taken from this area using stone tools.

Powars II Mine

RED OCHRE MINING

In this district there is evidence of quarrying operations that predates modern mining operations by centuries. It has been stated that tools made from rock in the area have been found in the mounds of the Mississippi Mound Builders.

Powars II Mine
Red Ocre Pigment and Solid

MINE

Paleoindian mined this earthy hematite (now known as Sunrise red ochre) at the Sunrise site 13,000 ago.

RED OCHRE

Red ochre can be used as a pigment, as a preservative for wood, bone and skin, and as an abrasive.

LEARN MORE

Red ochre has been discovered at graves, ceremonial sites, on floors of Paleoindian sites, and on bones of animals killed by PaleoIndian. Red ochre is the color of blood, giving it even more symbolic significance for the PaleoIndian. Red is seen in giving birth, menstrual cycles, and death, so red is a very significant color.

(As one poet describes Sunrise, Wyoming)

For red is the color of Sunrise mine-
The trees are red, and the sky
Is flaming red, and even the wind
Moans red as it passes by.

Red was the hope of the miners bold,
Red was their work and worth
And millions of tons of red ore poured forth
From the great red heart of the earth.

....poem "Red" by Mrs. Charles Bass (Torrington Telegram)
April 1, 1963.

Chronology of POWARS II site

Coach PowarsWayne Powars Picture

SmithsonianOld Picture of Smithsonian

 

Sunrise SchoolOld Sunrise School Picture

 

ArtifactsPowars II Artifacts Arrowheads

 

1938-1944

During this time period Wayne Powars is the coach at Sunrise high school and as an amateur archaeologist he discovers artifacts in the railroad yard at Sunrise, Wyoming. Powars leaves Sunrise in 1944 to serve in World War II.

1981

As time goes on Wayne Powars takes the artifacts to Dennis Stanford at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. Dr. George Frison happens to be visiting Dr, Stanford at the time, and upon his return to Wyoming, is unsuccessful in locating the origin of the artifacts

1986

Powars returns to Sunrise for a big school reunion to discover DEQ reclaiming the site. Powars called Stanford and Stanford called George Frison who contacts the Governor who contacts the DEQ. Reclamation halts and the site is saved from destruction 

1986-Present

Dr. Frison and Powars both examine the site together to find several artifacts dating back some 13,000 years. Today the site is preserved by the SHAPPS organization for further study and educational learning.

POWARS II Team

Dr. George FrisonDr. George Frison

George ZeimensGeorge Zeimens

 

Dr. Bruce BradleyDr. Bruce Bradley

 

John VoightJohn Voight

 

Icon

The late Dr. Frison, an icon in early man archaeology, was very instrumental in saving this world class site. His experience, insights and perspectives have been invaluable in researching POWARS II”.

Bringing it all Together

Archaeologist George Zeimens and wife Geri have been the glue bringing fellow archeologists and students into the fold of all aspects of not only Powars II but also the Sunrise Historic and Prehistoric Preservation Society.  They have dedicated over 30 years to youth programs instilling an appreciation of archeology , historic preservation  and hard work.

Emeritus Professor

 Dr. Bradley has extensive experience with Stone Age technologies and experimental archaeology, focusing on the North American Southwest and Great Plains, applying anthropological approach to the prehistoric Powars II site. This, along with his flint knapping demonstrations, has only added to the historical backdrop of Sunrise.

Renaissance man

Sunrise owner, John Voight, has been one of the most instrumental figures in saving the town of Sunrise and this amazing site. John has allowed the Sunrise Historic and Prehistoric Preservation Society to save the famous CF&I YMCA building, converting it into a cultural museum and interpretive center.

SHAPPS LOGO OCHRE HAND WITH SUNRISE POINT

See Us On
Facebook

SHAPPS FACEBOOK

 

 

CONTACT US

SHAPPS
PO Box 30,Hartville, Wyoming 82215
Ph: (307) 331-8810
Email SHAPPS

BACK TO TOP »


$30 a year per person, or $50 per family, makes you an active member of SHAPPS. Your dues will help support and build on this lasting legacy. As an inactive partner, Institutions and Bussinesses can join to show their support for $50 a month.

A BIG THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTE TO SHAPPS